Coming: A vibrant Monticello Road Corridor

January 15, 2019

CIU committed to community enhancement and safety

Just a few months after Columbia International University President Dr. Mark Smith saw the potential for a revitalized Monticello Road corridor, seven properties along the gateway to the campus have now been purchased for the purpose of cleanup and development. The latest purchase is a former club scheduled for demolition in the near future.

Several community leaders are discussing ways to upgrade the corridor and open opportunities for ministry and economic development. The sessions are being led by The Rev. Andre Melvin, the pastor of Temple Zion Baptist Church, and Special Assistant to the President Dr. Andre Rogers, a CIU professor of Church Ministry.  

As the team met and prayed, God began helping them secure the property.

“We envision a vibrant Monticello Road that will be attractive from the I-20 interchange to the CIU campus which will provide badly needed services for the area,” Smith said. “We’re here to invest in this community. This is about loving and lifting our neighbors.”

The properties will be open to businesses and ministries and will greatly benefit the neighborhood. The team has also met with local, state and federal officials, putting together a plan to beautify the corridor and begin new neighborhood ministries.

CIU is particularly concerned about reducing crime and increasing safety. The Richland County Sheriff’s Department has been discussing the location of additional resources to the area and has indicated that a major reduction in crime should occur with the cleanup of these properties. 

“We could not be more excited to see the closing of this community nuisance,” Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott said regarding the demolition of the club. “For years, this club has been a source of complaints and crime. Knocking it down will breathe new life into the area and the community.”

Smith and other CIU administrators have met with local government officials to direct resources to Monticello Road and are seeking support from legislators for a variety of grants. Richland County Councilman Paul Livingston is working hard to assist this area.

CIU is also poised to meet business and IT needs with the new William H. Jones Global Business & IT Center scheduled for completion this fall. One of the purposes of the Center is to provide a corporate training room for Columbia area business professionals to act as a catalyst for business development especially along the Monticello Road corridor. It will also provide an opportunity for CIU students to advance their “revitalizing” skills in business in the United States or in international missions work. The building alone will add a beautiful corporate touch to Monticello Road.

“We have a strong core value at CIU that we are to give back to our local community,” Smith said. “As we take Christ to the nations, we must first start here at home. As president I commit to invest locally and be a part of our community.”                  

Columbia International University is ranked #1 among colleges and universities in South Carolina by BestColleges.com. Excitement is growing on campus with the new $20 million William H. Jones Global Business & IT Center and CIU’s first baseball program. Request information on enrollment or call (800) 777-2227, ext. 5024.